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Outrage as National Lottery winners are paid just £15 for matching five numbers

Neil Roarty 25 Mar 2016

An unusual set of numbers in Wednesday's National Lottery draw saw more than 4,000 people match five numbers and win just £15 each, which was less than the £25 paid for matching three numbers.

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The British public were up in arms after Wednesday's National Lottery draw saw some incredible payouts.

However, rather than big wins, it was small prizes that were the problem for Lotto players, with five numbers paying out a measly £15. This was less than the 'minimum prize' of £15 paid for matching three numbers.

A Camelot spokesperson said: “We had an unprecedented 4,082 Match 5 winners tonight. 

“This is because five of the six main numbers drawn was a multiple of seven - 07, 14, 21, 35 and 42 - and clearly this is a popular set of numbers.

“To put it into context, the four Lotto draws before this one had 55, 36, 61 and 38 Match 5 winners - so over 4,000 Match 5 winners is highly unusual.

“It is a lottery at the end of the day, and is down to the numbers drawn and the number of people who match with those numbers. As a result, we do sometimes see unusual situations like this.”

The odds of matching five numbers in the National Lottery is 150,000/1, which perhaps helps to explain players' grievances at Wednesday's prizes.

Wednesday's Winning Numbers and Prizes

Why Did This Happen?

Camelot's prize structure is very top heavy, with a massive prize fund for matching six numbers but much smaller prizes for matching less numbers. The smaller prizes funds are then shared out amongst the number of winners, rather than a set prize per winner. So, if there are a lot of players with the same numbers then the fund will have to be split multiple times.

On Wednesday five of the six numbers - 7, 14, 21, 35 and 42 (the other number was 41) - were from the seven times table. This will be a popular combination, as players, particularly those in syndicates, tend to play numbers in patterns. This resulted in a huge increase in the number of winners matching five numbers.

The reason that those matching three numbers were paid £25 is that Camelot increased the minimum win for three numbers from £10 to £25 when they increased the cost of playing the Lottery. Unlike the other combinations, this is a fixed prize and so isn't dependant on how many people match the three numbers.



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Outrage as National Lottery winners are paid just £15 for matching five numbers

An unusual set of numbers in Wednesday's National Lottery draw saw more than 4,000 people match five numbers and win just £15 each, which was less than the £25 paid for matching three numbers.

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